Samba migrated to France 10 years ago from Senegal, and has since been plugging away at various lowly jobs. Alice is a senior executive who has recently undergone a burnout. Both struggle to get out of their dead-end lives. Samba's willing to do whatever it takes to get working papers, while Alice tries to get her life back on track until fate draws them together.


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  • ★★★★ review by blandine on Letterboxd

    white french actors found DEAD next to omar sy and tahar rahim's flawless acting

  • ★★★★★ review by giovana lamounier on Letterboxd

    this movie was a delightful experience you people are just mean and dont know how to have fun. also the characters were so well written, i have no words to describe how much i enjoyed this

  • ★★★★ review by gbxavier on Letterboxd

    "É melhor ser alegre

    Que ser triste

    Alegria é a melhor

    Coisa que existe" - Samba da Benção.

    Samba é um drama com uma temática tão atual quanto custosa para a França. A trilha denuncia o drama que será discutido. Até aí tudo bem.

    Samba é uma comédia romântica muito cativante, divertida e que trata com humor um tema tão caro para a França. A trilha é bastante animada. Tem Gilberto Gil e Bob Marley. Sem mais.

    Samba é exatamente esse bipolaridade denunciada acima. Há quem não goste. Incomoda, mas gostei. É como a música diz, "é melhor se alegre que ser triste". Acredite, nem tudo é só drama para os imigrantes. As vezes você até se apaixona pela garota da associação de imigrantes e tem esse amor correspondido!

    Samba peca por não se aprofundar na temática principal. Você tem momentos de reflexão bem interessantes, mas sai do cinema indiferente. Parece que pisaram no freio em todo momento que fosse vislumbrar um olhar cru sobre a realidade dos imigrantes ilegais na França (no mundo).

    Mas também soube fazer de seus instantes de comédias bastante interessantes. O destaque aqui é para o imigrante "brasileiro". O próprio Samba, personagem-título, tem sempre presente um humor nos seus diálogos, mesmo nos instantes mais dramáticos da obra.

    Mas então...

    "É melhor ser alegre

    Que ser triste

    Alegria é a melhor

    Coisa que existe" - Samba da Benção.

    Take it easy!

  • ★★★★ review by jamawive on Letterboxd

    Traditional... and untraditional (a nod to the dialogue), in a good mix. Excellent chemistry between the two leads, and some sobering glimpses into a very hard world. Made me think of:

    The Beautiful Country


    The Visitor

    both also worth watching.

  • ★★★★½ review by Sven Rump on Letterboxd

    Omar Sy reteams with his Intouchables directors Eric Toledano & Olivier Nakache for the completely different yet also extremely satisfying Samba.

    Joining the great Sy are Charlotte Gainsbourg as a depressed burned out executive now doing volunteer work with refugees, Izïa Higelin as her colleague/friend and Tahar Rahim as Samba's (Sy) friend. While this is a totally and tonally different film than the directors' previous work this does manage to strike some of the same chords in balancing a lighter side of life to counter the drama on display. And there is plenty of drama, because life without a permanent (or even semi-permanent) resident status is completely insecure and when Samba gets himself thrown in a detention center when he attempts - once again - to apply for official papers it only gets more miserable.

    The story is one most people who follow the news probably know, but Toledano & Nakache do such a great job at creating believable characters and ditto dialogues that it constantly feels fresh. Sy's soft-spoken demeanor and Rahim's outgoing personality even make for a more than fun comedic duo, but they never get to the point where the fun outweighs the balance of the story which makes you kind of wish you'd see more of them and that's something that is to be admired. They could've gone for many more (and easier) laughs, but because they kept it limited (to a certain degree) the one that are there work so much better. Gainsbourg is perfectly cast as the former workaholic who now has trouble to get her life back in order and her chemistry with Sy is instantly believable.

    I am not sure whether Toledano & Nakache will work with Sy again (the man is in high demand in the US now, so you never know) but I will watch anything these two put out the coming years as they are two for two at the moment.

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